New rules governing Paris climate accord get mixed reception

Participants attend the COP24 U.N. Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice Poland on Dec. 13

Executive director of Greenpeace Jennifer Morgan said: "We continue to witness an irresponsible divide between the vulnerable island states and impoverished countries pitted against those who would block climate action or who are immorally failing to act fast enough".

One of the key components of the "Katowice package" is a detailed transparency framework, meant to promote trust among nations regarding the fact that they are all doing their part in addressing climate change.

But to the frustration of environmental activists and some countries who were urging more ambitious climate goals, negotiators delayed decisions on two key issues until next year in an effort to get a deal on them.

Chile's environment minister Carolina Schmidt told negotiators at the COP24 in the Polish mining city of Katowice that her country would step in and hold the two-week summit.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who made 3 trips to Katowice over the course of the talks, said the world's climate fight was just beginning.

Adopting the guidelines is crucial for putting the Paris deal into practice as they provide clarity and enable and encourage climate actions at all levels worldwide to tackle the pressing challenge.

As the world's nations agreed in Poland on measures to uphold the 2015 Paris climate deal, President Macron emphasised France's role in the process.

"In Katowice, world leaders failed to adequately address the needs of people suffering from climate change right now, including small island nations and even some USA communities who face existential threats".

Most nations wanted the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - which highlighted the need for greenhouse gas emissions to be slashed to almost half by 2030 in order to hit the 1.5C target - to form a key part of future planning.

A sticking point among the states was whether to bring in more ambitious climate protection targets before 2020.

Of the 200 nations that signed the Paris agreement, 196 agreed on the new rules which will govern how each country cuts greenhouse gas emissions.

The unity which underpinned the Paris talks has fragmented, and US President Donald Trump intends to pull his country - one of the world's biggest emitters - out of the pact.

Another notable achievement of the negotiations in Poland is that nations agreed on how to collectively assess the effectiveness of climate action in 2023, and how to monitor and report progress on the development and transfer of technology. This reflects the standpoint of the industrialized nations.

Chile will take the place of Brazil in hosting next year's United Nations climate summit, delegates at crunch talks in Poland were informed on Friday.

These would allow countries to meet a part of their domestic mitigation goals through the use of so-called "market mechanisms".

The UN climate conference came as latest reports show that climate challenges remain undeterred and global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high in 2018.

With the adoption of the rules starting in 2020, all signatory nations will work together to address global warming under the Paris Agreement.

Delegates had worked beyond the scheduled end to the conference to hash out a rule book for implementing and financing the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

"From now on my five priorities will be: Ambition, ambition, ambition, ambition, ambition", he said in a message read out by United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa.

To achieve this, the UN Secretary-General is convening a Climate Summit on 23 September, at UN Headquarters in NY, to engage Governments at the highest levels.



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